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Black Powder War

(Temeraire #3)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  35,045 ratings  ·  1,542 reviews
Picking up where book two left off (in China, Macau) Captain Will Laurence and his extraordinary dragon, Temeraire, are ordered to retrieve and escort a precious cargo of valuable dragon eggs from Istanbul to England. They take the Old Silk Road from China to Istanbul, crossing deserts and mountains. En route to England, they help the beleaguered Prussians battle Napoleon.
Mass Market Paperback, 365 pages
Published May 30th 2006 by Del Rey Books
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Keith Beasley-Topliffe It's a little too early for that (before steam became major source of power). This is Napoleonic alt-history with dragons, sailing ships, and gunpowde…moreIt's a little too early for that (before steam became major source of power). This is Napoleonic alt-history with dragons, sailing ships, and gunpowder.(less)
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Average rating 3.86  · 
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 ·  35,045 ratings  ·  1,542 reviews

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Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
I read this book a week or more ago and forgot all about a review. See, I'm losing it!

I didn't love this one as much as the first two but anything with Temeraire & Laurence is still great ♥
3.5 stars - while book 2 was a drag and had me questioning continuing with the series, this book returned to what I enjoy about this series! Some new dragons joined the mix that have me very intrigued.
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
Be glad and rejoice, my Little Barnacles, for I am no longer going to write never-ending crappy non-reviews of all the books I read!

All you have to know about this book/series is:

① It is light and cute and fluffy and I love it ergo my reputation is ruined but I don't give a shrimp what you Silly Arthropods think so there. QED and stuff.

Temeraire and Laurence are MINE. DUH.

Napoleon sucks.

Temeraire and Laurence are MINE. DUH.

Sneaking into Other People's Harems (OPH™) will always get you
Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller
Mini Review: Another enjoyable installment in the Temeraire series. The military angle became a little more prominent in this book, but I didn’t mind it as much as I might have in most other circumstances because of one important thing: no matter what else is going on in the story, Novik never forgets to keep the dragons at the center of attention. She always brings it back to them, highlighting the novelty and fun, and I’m certain that’s why I’m always engaged during sections that would be a de ...more
Nicholas Eames
Feb 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic! On to the next!
Jan 22, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
This was another foray into the foreign culture and politics of the Napoleonic era, this time exploring first Istanbul and the Turkish people and then moving north to the crushing military defeat suffered by the Prussians at Napoleon's hands.

I'm sorry to say I think the author fell prey to her own fascination with the military history of the time and lost sight of what the reader's personal interests might be. The second part of the book, the Prussian campaign, dragged considerably. The endless

So yeah, my worries about this series going downhill after Throne of Jade were completely unnecessary!

A few mindblowingly awesometacular things Black Powder War brough to this series:

-Tharkay. That is all. Tharkay alone is enough reason to read this series. Without spoiling anything about him, I can pretty much guarantee that you will find Tharkay, in and of himself, mindblowingly awesometacular.

-The trip around the world was way, way better executed in this book. It
Jack +Books & Bourbon+
Sadly, the third book in the Temeraire series just wasn't quite in the same league as the two previous entries. Part of this is likely due to over-exposure, since I am reading them in succession with no breaks, and the other part is that this tale feels a lot like a transition piece (the pause, obligatory plate stomp, and then the windup before the pitch). Which is fine, as the journey to China took so very long in book 2, and to have a repeat journey on the way back in the very next book would ...more
Mar 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
A fascinating journey with a rousing finish. (Also amusing how easily one takes England's side; down with the tyrant Napoleon!) ...more
Dec 22, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2017
Plotwise, I didn't like this one as much as the first 2 books in the series. It was a bit weak and it dragged at times. But it had charm!

The interaction between different races of dragons, the bond between Temeraire and his crew, the description of wild dragons after their first taste of cow...these were truly wonderful.

And Temeraire's new little friend, tiny and fierce and absolutely adorable is the star of this book! For her sake alone, this whole part of Temeraire's journey is entirely wort
After reading the series, I've decided Captain Riley is incompetent, bigoted, and immature, and I question Laurence's people-reading skills in promoting him to captain. (view spoiler)

I'm learning more about the Napoleonic War from this series, despite the fictional dragons. It's a pretty decent alternate history, ro
Feb 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
So much joy!

This part had great highlights and trying to hide that I mostly mean introducing a new character (two, to be exact) is not what I mean would be a fat lie. One would be too big of a spoiler to talk about while the other is there quite quickly to entertain the readers with his specific charm. My sister said he was written exactly the way so that everyone and their mother were supposed to fall for him while reading and well, it’s working, I guess. For me and for some members of the cas
Sep 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015, owned
I liked this volume more, in spite of the more developed military sections - Tharkay & Iskierka make for great additions to the cast of characters. I'm much more excited to continue the series (though I still plan to take a break and read a few different books first). ...more
3.5 Stars 🌟
Mogsy (MMOGC)
I'm still enjoying this series, but I think the spark, that initial sense of magic and wonderment I first felt when I read His Majesty's Dragon, has faded.

I believe the ongoing war against Napoleon and the action-filled aerial dragon battles are meant to be the focus and highlight of these books, and that unique premise certainly sets this series apart from much of the other fantasy offerings out there. But if I'm to be completely honest, while reading this third book, I found myself constantly
Nov 12, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of historical fiction with a fantasy element.
I'm a bit late on this review, so I will keep it simple.

Is this book as charming as the previous two?

Why, yes it is.

Is this book as good as the previous two?

Not so much.

Is this book entertaining?

That depends on your idea of entertaining. If you want to read something in the realm of historical fiction, which is slow moving and more concerned with wordplay than anything else, this is the book for you.

However, if you want something that has more of a fantasy element, then I would suggest you l
Trigger warnings: lots and lots and LOTS of animals get slaughtered and fed to dragons. Deaths by falling. War. Dragon masturbation. That one's not a trigger warning so much as a heads up because it's freaking weird.


I stand by pretty much everything I said last time. I think I found the pacing a little slower this time around? I liked the second half but I don't think I *loved* it?? That said, Iskierka is fucking fabulous and I love her.

Plot summary: Temeraire, his ca
Scott Sigler
Aug 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This series is a goddamn delight.

It's very rare for me to read more than one book in a series, simply because I have lots of author friends and I want to experience their works. Usually I read book one and move on to the next, simply because of time limitations (I will grow old and someday die with a huge to-be-read pile sitting on the nightstand next to my death bed, because people are rude and keep writing good books). Novik's Temeraire series, however, has taken over my iPhone for running, w
3.5 stars. Book three of the excellent Temeraire series by Naomi Novik. The world Novik has created and the special relationship between Temeraire and Laurence make these books a lot of fun to read. Add to that the fact that Novik can write very well and you have all the makings for a really good series. Recommended!!
Nov 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a really good read! The story was fast paced and exciting (aside from a few later chapters where time stood still a bit... Such is life).
I absolutely love Temeraire! He is so sweet and his love for Laurence still makes me so happy.
I thoroughly enjoyed this, and look forward to the next installment. :D
Bryce O'Connor
Dec 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Naomi Novik continues to impress. I have to lock my phone away for hours at a time to keep from spending all days eating these books up.
Sep 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, historical
Book 3 of the series sees Temeraire, Captain Laurence and their crew on an urgent mission - to go from China to Istanbul to pick up three dragon eggs. The author wisely does not spend a huge amount of time on the first part of the journey, though at times I wish a map had been included to chart their journey. I must admit that I also could not understand why the journey was through the deserts of Eastern China, rather than going south and across India. Nevertheless, this part of the journey is e ...more
Jan 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: historical fiction fans, dragon lovers, Regency era fans
Black Powder War, in which we follow Laurence and Temeraire through the intricacies of the Napoleonic Wars, out of the Asia of Book #2 via the mysterious, mostly unmapped, largely desert overland route back toward besieged and beleaguered Britain. I got thirsty, sand-blown and a bit sunburnt in this read!

Once again Novik has done a brilliant job of portraying place and circumstance: actions, relationships, dialog, all seemed very true to their time.
"Justice is expensive," Tharkay said. "That
Book Haunt
Jan 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
On the heels of a harrowing diplomatic mission to Peking, Captain Will Laurence and his dragon Temeraire would like nothing better than to get back to England. But alas, it will not be quick or easy.

Their new assignment takes them on a difficult journey by land from China to Istanbul to retrieve three valuable dragon eggs and bring them home. As they travel via the Old Silk Road they will need a guide. This comes in the form of a new character named Tharkay, a toughened Nepalese/Englishman whos
Nov 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was excellent - not exactly my typical go to in terms of books (very, very historical), but it made history fun with the cool dragons.

Temeraire was still adorable in a lot of places, but you can definitely see him growing up. He and Laurence still have this wonderful bond, and their conversations are always my favourite part of the book.

The first half of the book saw the pair come across feral dragons and make progress with them, and head to Turkey to pick up some promised dragon eggs. And
Kaethe Douglas
I never would have guessed that I could be this fond of a series about the Napoleonic Wars. This volume has Temeraire and Laurence and crew traveling back overland from China. The action is just intermittent enough for us to take in the scenery, the privations of each leg, to really relax and catch our breath before BAM! we're right back in the thick. My world history is sorely lacking, so I asked the Spouse to fill me in on some of the background. I love these books, and the burgeoning rights o ...more
I am seriously becoming progressively more disenchanted with this series the longer I continue reading. The faults seem to magnify and the good points seem to dwindle the more I read.

These books seem more like a historical recounting rather than story. Before, in the other two books, the focus was more on the characters and the world. But now, the main importance seems more about political ideologies and the war between France and the world. Perhaps it is because I don't habitually enjoy histori
May 05, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, library-loan
The first book of this series, His Majesty's Dragon, is an enjoyable alternate history fantasy in which the Napoleonic Wars are changed by the addition of an air force, comprised of domesticated dragons. It's an enjoyable and tightly written book, well researched and written in (what appears to my layman's eye) a historically accurate style. I enjoyed the story of Laurence, a naval captain who accidentally captures a rare dragon's egg and becomes Temeraire's - the dragon's - captain and companio ...more
Sep 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
It's been a few years since I read the first two books in the series, and that caused me to be a bit confused with this one because I had forgotten the immediate circumstances. Nevertheless, this was a fun read.Temeraire is upset that dragons in China are treated much better than dragons in Europe, so he is going to crusade for dragon civil rights. His captain, William Laurence, agrees with him at heart but is more concerned about defeating Napoleon before pursuing any other goal. In addition, t ...more
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An avid reader of fantasy literature since age six, when she first made her way through The Lord of the Rings, Naomi Novik is also a history buff with a particular interest in the Napoleonic era and a fondness for the work of Patrick O’Brian and Jane Austen. She studied English literature at Brown University, and did graduate work in computer science at Columbia University before leaving to partic ...more

Other books in the series

Temeraire (9 books)
  • His Majesty's Dragon (Temeraire, #1)
  • Throne of Jade (Temeraire, #2)
  • Empire of Ivory (Temeraire, #4)
  • Victory of Eagles (Temeraire, #5)
  • Tongues of Serpents (Temeraire, #6)
  • Crucible of Gold (Temeraire, #7)
  • Blood of Tyrants (Temeraire, #8)
  • League of Dragons (Temeraire, #9)

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“It is quite uninteresting; that is why one comes out."
— Temeraire, on being inside an egg
“I will see you bereft of all that you have, of home and happiness and beautiful things. I will see your nation cast down and your allies drawn away. I will see you as alone and friendless and wretched as am I; and then you may live as long as you like, in some dark and lonely corner of the earth, and I shall call myself content.

-Lien, Albino Celestial (Dragon) ”
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